Movie tickets were purchased for a Halloween movie rated R including an adult ticket for a chaperone. The adult did not stay with high school students.

An employee makes it their mission to remove high school students without an adult present. They ask a police officer working at the theater to remove the 16-year-old students and in doing so, he uses physical force to push the student out.

Their parent gets a call that the 16 yr old was physically pushed out and gets upset. The parent questions the police officer about assault and was in turn asked to leave the theater.

The parent then called the local police to file a report and was told that the parent was banned from the theater.

Is that even possible? It is a public place, how does that even work? For questioning a police officer who was working at the theater why force was used?


2 Answers 2


I’m guessing you have seen a sign in a business that read - “Management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone”.

At least in the US, they do not need a reason as long as the reason isn’t unlawful discrimination.

They can decide not to serve you.

  • 4
    I presume the presence of the sign isn't what creates this right, so it might be worth clarifying that they have that right, even if such a sign were not on display.
    – kaya3
    Oct 23, 2022 at 11:14
  • 1
    There’s a good chance that the sign was there. It might be worth clarifying that they have the right even if the customer doesn’t read the sign.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 23, 2022 at 11:46

It would be very rare that a movie theatre is a public place. 99.9% it is run by some company who has the right to ban people.

It seems they let in a child (16 year old is a child) under the condition that the child was accompanied by an adult. When the adult left they were allowed to and quite possibly required to remove the child. If the child refused to leave, they were allowed to remove the child with as much force as necessary, but not more. It seems that is what they did. It’s not assault. On the contrary, refusing to leave made the child a trespasser. Then you called the police, without any good reason, and of course the movie theatre doesn’t want you as a customer anymore. They banned you, which they are absolutely entitled to do.

  • 2
    By many definitions, a movie theater is a public place, see my comments on the question. But it is still true that the owners can demand people to leave. Oct 23, 2022 at 14:40

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